A plan to convert an industrial plant at the corner of Colley Avenue and W. 25th Street into a regional, 60-unit apartment complex for homeless individuals from Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach will be heard by the Norfolk City Council at its May 24, 7:30 p.m. public hearing.
The plan previously had been presented by City Councilwoman Daun Hester, Claudia Gooch of the Norfolk Planning Council and representatives of similar housing complexes in Richmond to the Ghent Neighborhood League, the Ghent Business Association, the Park Place civic association and other groups.
According to newspaper reports, Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, in whose district the proposed SRO — or Single Room Occupancy — facility is to be established, favors the plan.
The former RC bottling plant is to be refurbished and turned into a housing complex by a for-profit developer, who will receive tax credits for the conversion, and operated by the non-profit Virginia Supportive Housing in Richmond. Employment and drug abuse counselors will be available, and the facility is to have a resident manager.
While the facility initially had counted on federal grant money, Hester said during a recent Park Place presentation that the City of Norfolk now will allocate $500,000 from its budget for the facility. The SRO recently received $300,000 from the Norfolk Foundation.
Residents of the proposed SRO have to be homeless, at least 18 years of age, have no current use of illegal substances and not have a felony conviction for a drug-related or violent crime within the past five years.